'Doddery' parrot could die from stress after being stolen
PUBLISHED: 17:03 14 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 14 July 2019
The owner of an elderly parrot which was stolen in a raid on its aviary said he doubts the bird will survive the stress of being snatched from his cage.
Burt, a 50-year-old African grey, was taken along with three other birds from Swallow Aquatics at East Harling.
Staff arrived for work on Saturday to find their aviary doors had been forced.
African greys Burt and Daisy and macaws Albert and Lily were missing.
Dylan Prest, general manager at Swallow, had owned Burt for 30 years, since he finished his career as a breeding bird at the age of 20.
"He's no good as a pet because he's elderly," he said. "He's no good for breeding because he's elderly.
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"He's just a doddery old gentleman who was here on retirement. It seems amazing to steal him. I suspect the stress will kill him off." Mr Prest said the other birds stolen had found their way to Swallow because they were unwanted.
"One of the macaws is a bit of a delinquent," he said. "He's quite bad-tempered so I'd be surprised if whoever stole him didn't get bitten." One of the other parrots was re-homed at Swallow last year after being found abandoned in an empty flat without food or water when a new tenant moved in.
The theft of the birds has gone viral online, with thousands of shares and messages of support for staff at Swallow. So far, no news of the parrots has emerged. Police are aware of the break-in.
Mr Prest said: "It's been really good I'm really impressed. I've had people say they came here and saw Burt when they were kids."
Jayne Sutton posted on facebook: "I had the pleasure of having a wonderful conversation with Bert a couple of years ago at Swallow Aquatics and as a parrot owner and lover know how much this is impacting Bert and his friends. My thoughts are with all concerned."
Merie Lancaster posted: "I'm shocked. My son and I often stopped and chatted with these beautiful birds."
Karuna Raina said: "They are gorgeous I hope they are safe and found soon."